I myself am very open about the 'paid for' matter. With paid work for Aeva Lite and Aeva Media, I made about $4000 in a couple of years. It's a lot, but it's also nothing if you consider I worked on it fulltime. Represents what... $20 a month? Eh.
Still, I made a choice when I started work on Wedge -- basically, I could either stay in the SMF community (and thus start building Wedge), or just give up on SMF, and do something else. Either return to game development (which has always been good to me, financially), or simply become a freelance dev for web agencies or something (although I doubt it'd be very rewarding.) Since I wasn't too excited at the idea of doing something I'd already worked on for over 10 years, I decided my passion for SMF was worth staying on.
I *thought* I'd be done with Wedge in a few months though... I don't know if I'd have chosen that path, had I known it wouldn't be out a year later. On the other hand, I'm very proud of how much it's BETTER than SMF2. There is no way in hell their devs are going to catch up with us. Even if we gave them a one-year headstart. That's how well we worked together on this, Pete and I.
Anyway, end of story.
Given my lack of interest for things of life (i.e. anything that costs money), coupled with shared costs, I can probably keep up with this for some time. So yes, I can afford not to be concerned with the business issue of SMF and Wedge, because I don't want pocket money. But I perfectly understand that some people
I prefer to owe no one anything right now. Pete and I are... mostly drawn by our interest in building a fantastic CMS. Or at least something we can be proud of.
Not everyone is driven by their passion. You just have to draw a line between paid stuff, and free community work. If you can't balance it out, then you'd better drop it altogether, you're better off working on 100% closed commercial software. That's just my idea of it.